Six Things I Personally Would Not Consider Doing as a Traveler
W hile travel in general is supposed to expand upon the learnings and experiences of life to the traveler, I have found myself reading a number of articles lately related to travel where I have said to myself, “No — I am not interested in doing that.”
Here is a list of six things I personally would not consider doing as a traveler:
1. Travel 9,763 Miles to 26 Countries in 165 Days With No Money
Kris Mole lost the money he was saving to travel because he broke his foot in an accident. When a friend with whom he was drinking laughed at the idea of traveling with no money, Kris Mole viewed that as a challenge and eventually headed to Sweden — an airplane trip financed by his father.
Over the next six months, he hitchhiked; jumped on trains for free transportation; slept in train stations, on couches in the homes of complete strangers, in parking lots and even on the streets; played on the sympathy of people to buy him a meal — and he was not exactly eating well; and braved inclement weather. This was not only a challenge to him; but it was also for a charitable cause which was his idea: to help his aunt, who was diagnosed with cancer.
He did get to experience things which a traveler would not ordinarily experience; and he did write a book about it which is currently on sale…
…but I do not believe that it would be worth traveling with no money, as it does not appeal to me — despite all of the travel which I have done economically and on a budget.
2. The $20.00 Las Vegas “Hotel Trick”
Bribery is something in which I simply do not engage, with one of the reasons being that even if I were comfortable with doing it — which I never was — there is no guarantee that there will be a return on investment.
My luck is that if I ever did act upon the $20.00 Las Vegas hotel trick — an ages-old strategy of slipping $20.00 along with your identification and method of payment to the agent at the front desk when checking in at a hotel; and then asking if a “complimentary” upgrade is available — the agent behind the front desk might probably keep the money and I would have no upgrade, instead more likely being assigned to the same room I would have been assigned to in the first place.
I knew someone who always left a significantly generous gratuity in advance wherever he went — dining at a restaurant as one of many examples — and he claimed that he received great service as a result. I personally do not like people fawning all over me trying to give me exemplary service as it is — let alone for a bribe.
Do you have any experience with bribes or offering generous tips in advance?
3. Enter an Eating Contest
I may be a finicky eater; but I still enjoy eating — and I can pack it away, depending on how hungry I am and how good is the food I am eating…
…but I prefer to taste the food and enjoy it at my leisure — regardless of whether I want to slowly savor the meal or rush through it; and especially when I am traveling.
Alexander Bachuwa of The Points of Life — I think that its slogan Living Doesn’t Have to Suck is one of the better tag lines in the “blogosphere” — decided one day to take on a hamburger weighing two pounds. If he ate that — as well as one pound of French fries and a 32-ounce milk shake in 20 minutes — his $30.00 meal would be free.
I am not going to spoil the outcome by revealing it here. Find out for yourself — as well as links to other seemingly gluttonous ventures…
…although I should not talk. I have no problem eating seven Kosher frankfurters topped with spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut on buns in one sitting. One person once said to me, “I would rather clothe you than feed you.”
Still, those contests — and even the super-sized food — just do not appeal to me.
4. Completing Six Marathon Runs on Six Continents in Fewer Than Five Days
If I were the significant other of Kathy Kass of Will Run For Miles, she would probably call me Won’t Run But Will Walk, as I truly enjoy walking but dislike running.
The only time I will run is if I need to run. I do not exercise for the sake of exercising; but rather would do it for a purpose. For example, I have no interest in riding a stationary bicycle in some gym; but putting me on a bicycle out on the open road or on a scenic trail is a whole different scenario altogether.
Charles Barkowski of Running With Miles completed six marathon runs on six continents in fewer than five days — and this is what happened to him as a result.
Not to take that milestone accomplishment away from Charlie, as I applaud him for it; but I can quite comfortably go to my grave knowing that I never will have accomplished this feat. I simply have no interest in running.
5. Nude Swimming
Even if I were alone, I prefer to wear a bathing suit when I am in a pool or in the ocean. This is similar to my wanting to wear jeans instead of shorts — even when the weather is ridiculously hot. It is not because my body is grotesque in any way — although I will spare you the opportunity to decide that for yourself — but it is just the way I am.
That limits me from going to spas, thermal baths and hot springs in countries like South Korea; but Keri Anderson of Heels First Travel had the accidental opportunity to go “skinny-dipping” for the first time when she was in Singapore some years ago. She realized that she forgot her bathing suit after she already booked an appointment for a massage at a spa at a hotel; so she bared all before indulging in the hot tub.
I know that it should be no big deal; but I am not sure I would have done that. Kudos to her.
6. Have Suggestive Photographs on a Portable Electronic Device
I was in disbelief when I read this article posted at Road Warriorette: do people really travel with provocative, explicit or suggestive photographs on their portable electronic devices — whether or not they travel?
If so — for what purpose, if I may ask…?!?
On second thought…perhaps it is best if that question was not answered…
7. Drive in Egypt
Wait a minute — I already did that and lived to tell about it; and I would prefer never to do it again. Besides, that is a seventh thing — and this article is only supposed to list six things. Regardless, please do not attempt to drive in Egypt yourself…
The list in this article is by no means exhaustive. I am certain that there will be more things I personally would not consider doing as a traveler; and I may compile another list in a future article.
Don’t get me wrong. I do try new things — even if I am not exactly thrilled about doing them. Sometimes I unexpectedly have the time of my life; and sometimes I am purely miserable as a result. Predicting that result is usually difficult to do.
I guess the question I have to ask myself is whether or not I am missing out on some memorable experiences by not considering doing as a traveler the things on the aforementioned list. The answer is maybe — but I am not losing sleep over it. I have plenty of travel experiences and want more; but let’s realize that none of us can experience absolutely everything — so there is nothing wrong with picking and choosing which experiences appeal to you the most.
What things would you personally not consider doing as a traveler? Do you have any stories to share where you did not want to try something but did and either enjoyed or regretted it?
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.